• The Effect of External Ankle Support on Football Specific Performance Tests and the Perception of the Athletes that Wear Them

      Cutts, Matthew (2013-09-04)
      Context: Researchers and manufacturers have been looking for the optimal method to safely and adequately support the ankle joint without hindering performance. A plethora of information on sport specific performance utilizing taping and/or bracing methods exists. However, no study has compared actual performance to the athletes’ perception of their performance wearing various ankle support. Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of ankle braces and taping on football performance tests and the participants’ perception of the affect the ankle support had on their performance. Design: Mixed methods crossover design with 3 conditions unsupported (U), a taped (T) using a modified basket weave, and two separate braced conditions; a traditional figure eight lace up with Velcro stirrups manufactured by McDavid (B1) and a hinged ankle brace manufactured by UltraAnkle Zoom (B2). Setting: Outdoor artificial turf surface Participants: Three collegiate football players (age = 21+/- 2 yrs, with 3.5 +/-1.5 yrs of college experience) voluntarily participated in this study. Main Outcome Measures: Vertical jump, broad jump, 5-10-5 agility test, 3-cone test, and the 40- yard dash. Because we were unable to achieve a large sample size, interviews were performed to gather descriptive data regarding the three conditions. Results: No trends were seen in data relative to the condition. Qualitative results indicated that participants felt most comfortable in condition they had used previously, but preferred the unsupported condition. Results: Vertical jump (U=24.01±4.31, T=22.91±4.87, B1=23.88±4.17, B2=23.73±4.11), broad jump (U=93.68±10.91, T=96.42±11.52, B1=94.55±12.96, B2=95.84±10.95), the 5-10-5 agility test (U=4.71±0.23, T=4.69±0.22, B1=4.76±0.29, B2=4.79±0.22), the 3-cone test (U=7.67±0.40, T=7.74±0.48, B1=7.75±0.54, B2=7.83±0.55), and the 40-yard dash (U=5.27±0.24, T=5.35±0.27, B1=5.41±0.28, B2=5.46±0.26). Conclusions: Due to the small sample size, we were unable to draw objective conclusions regarding the effect of the conditions on performance, however participants in this investigation preferred the unsupported condition for the testing.